10 Must See Attractions In Trapani, Italy april 27, 2022 – Posted in: Italy, Travel – Tags: Attractions, Holiday, Italiy, Sicily, Trapani, Travel, Weekend Breaks
*The article contains advertising links, read more here: Affiliate Partners*
Tourist attractions in Trapani
Which attractions in Trapani are a definant must see? Not really a lot, to be honest. But Trapani is still very much worth a visit. The city of the Sicilian westcoast should still and to a greater extent be enjoyed for the exuberant city life, the lovely restaurants and its’ beautiful beaches. Trapani is also an excellent starting point for day trips to the many exciting tourist attractions in the area.
In addition to the smaller sights of Trapani, we can therefore also recommend day trips to the medieval city of Erice, the Egadi Islands, Palermo, the Temple of Segesta and the Phoenician community of Motya, which you can read more about by clicking on the various links.
But Trapani also has something to offer, and here is a list of the sights in Trapani that you should see when you are on holiday in the city. However, there are many other exciting sights in and around Trapani, and you can read much more and plan your own visit to: Visit Sicily – Trapani.
10 attractions in Trapani
1. The old city
There isn’t an abundance of museums and histric buildings in Trapani’s historic district, but the crooked streets and cozy atmosphere require you to slow down and just enjoy life with an ice cream in hand. The city center is from the late Middle Ages and many of the historic buildings are characterized by the 17th-18th century baroque style.
2. Corso Vittorio Emanuele
In the evening, the shopping street Corso Vittorio Emanuele is full of tourists and locals anjoying a night out. Especially between 5 and 8 pm this is the place to be for drinks and snacks or just the traditional passeggiata, Italian for a stroll where it is all about seeing and being seen.
3. Palazzo Senatorio
The Palazzo Senatorio, now the town hall of Trapani, was once the seat of the Roman Senate. Designed by the famous Trapane architect Andrea Palma, the Baroque Palace is one of the most impressive and recognizable sites in Trapani. Stand in front of the building and let your gaze run all the way up over statues, dials and the calendar. To the left of the palace is Porta Oscura, the oldest and slightly hidden entrance to the city.
4. The port
Sicily is located right in the middle of the Mediterranean, and the port of Trapani is therefore also a natural center for embarking with both goods and tourists going to distant shores. In the morning you can hear the shouts from the fishermen selling the night’s catch, and later in the day it is the tourists who fill the streets, on their way out with the ferries to the Egadi Islands.
5. Torre di Ligny
Built in 1671 as a defense against the Babylonian pirates who repeatedly attacked the city, Torre di Ligny lies at the tip of Trapani. Inside the tower you will find the Museo Civico di Ligny, which houses a small exhibition of archeological objects. The small footbridge to the tower is the best place in town to enjoy the beautiful sunset. Walking east along the walls of the Tramontana Fortress, will bring you to the beautiful archways of the old fish market Piazza Mercato del Pesce.
6. The churches
Everywhere you go in Trapani you will encounter the large, beautiful churches. Sant’Agostino is from the 14th century, Santa Maria di Gesu is from the 15th century, while the great basilica of Maria Santissima Annunziata was built between 1315 and 1332. The Cathedral of San Lorenzo, located at the beginning of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, is also a worth a visit for its fine interior.
7. The salt pans
Just south of the city start the large salt pans, where salt is still extracted. The 30 kilometers from Trapani to Marsala are called “La via del sale” and testify to the long tradition of salt extraction in the two cities. Close to Trapani is Le Saline di Trapani e Paceco, the salt mill which also houses a salt museum and the large nature reserve. However, the most beautiful salt pans are found on the island of Motya, which you can read more about here: A day trip to Motya.
8. Museo Regionale Pepoli
The city museum is located in the new part of town next to the Basilica Maria Santissima Annunziata. Museo Regionale Pepoli was founded in 1906 in the former Carmelite monastery, and consists primarily of the founder, Count Pepolis’, private collections. You have to be more than usually interested in history to really get something out of the archeological exhibition, where objects just stand side by side in the showcases with no other explanation than a year and a line in Italian.
Beautiful and interesting, however, are the individual historical city maps and paintings that show the development of Trapani. The museum also contains an exhibition of coral artworks and dioramas, small boxes with a mostly religious motif. When we were there in April 2022, there was also an exhibition about one of the city’s great heroes, the politician Nunzio Nasi.
9. The Museum of Optical Illusions
A small and whimsical museum that focuses on optical illusions, psychology, physics and the deception of the mind. Read more here: MOOI
10. The city beaches
With all the museums, it is now time to wash the dust off with a nice swim. Along the city coastline you will find lovely beaches that invite you to a swim. Right inside the old town are pebble beaches, which doesn’t deter the locals from soaking up the sun there, but the best beach in the town is the Spiaggia di San Giuliano at the university below Mount Erice. Here is white sand as far as the eye can see, beach bars, parasols and beach volleyball.
More tips for your holiday in Trapani
Find a great hotel in Trapani
There are three areas you can choose to stay in when you visit Trapani: the old town, the new town and then in the medieval town of Erice. The old town is where it all happens with the shopping street Corso Vittorio Emanuele as a lively center. The new district is where the locals live in the smaller roads going in all directions from the long shopping street. Here you are also close to the best beaches. Erice is located on a mountain, making you dependent on the cable car, but in return yo have an amazing view over Trapani and the Egadi Islands.
On Booking.com you can see the hotels and holiday apartments in Trapani, and below you can also read our recommendations for Trapani. Please do your own search on Booking.com for a good hotel in Trapani right here:
Recommendations for an apartment and a hotel in Trapani
Being in Trapani for a week, whe had the time to have both a city break and a beach holiday at our time in Trapani. The first days we stayed in an apartment in the center of the old town right by Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The restaurants, harbor and sights were right below our window, and it was nice to have your own kitchen.
During the week we moved to the relatively new and really nice beach hotel Punta Tipa, where the photo is from. Trapani is not (yet) patched up with beach hotels, and in fact Punta Tipa is one of the only ones. It is located just before the best beach in Trapani (at the university) and with the most beautiful view over the city.
From the hotel there are about 10 minutes walk up to the new town and 30 minutes to Torre dell’Orologio in the old town. Trapani is an expensive city to park in, with prices from 1 euro per hour inside the city center, but Punta Tipa is with its free parking spaces a good hotel for you who is renting a car and want to use Trapani as a base to get out and see a lot of sights in the area. Read more about the hotel by clicking on the links or photo.